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President Buhari Requests for the Creation of a new National Airline

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President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Min­istry of Aviation to imme­diately start the process of securing the management of the Nigerian airspace over the Gulf of Guinea from Ghana. He has also ordered the Ministry to expedite action on the establishment of a new national airline.

The nation’s national car­rier, Nigeria Airways, estab­lished in 1958, was liqui­dated in 2003 under heavy debts, mismanagement, inefficiency and corruption.

Ghana has been maintain­ing the airspace over the Gulf of Guinea since 1945.

The President gave the directive when he received briefings from the officials of the Aviation Ministry, led by the Permanent Secretary, Binta Bello, at the Presiden­tial Villa.

Addressing State House Correspondents after the briefing, Bello said the Pres­ident was actually worried that Nigeria does not have a national air carrier, hence the instruction to re-estab­lish one.

On the airspace take over directive, she said it is com­ing at a time when some oth­er neighbouring countries were making moves to take over their own airspace too.

“We have a directive by the President to start the process of securing the man­agement of the Nigerian air­space over the Gulf of Guin­ea, which Ghana has been maintaining since 1945 and there is a move on ground by Togo and Republic of Benin to take over their own airspace from Ghana.”

On the establishment of national carrier, Bello said, “the President is quite con­cerned about lack of na­tional carrier for now and he has directed the Ministry to look into the possibility of having a national carrier as soon as possible.”

The Permanent Secretary added that she briefed the President on the four inter­national terminal buildings that are being constructed across the country.

She said the buildings would be ready for commis­sioning at the end of the first quarter of 2016.

She said, “we briefed the President on the four inter­national terminal buildings that are being constructed using the China EXIM Bank loan. They are very big projects that are 100 per cent being funded by China EXIM Bank and DMO. Work is progressing very well.

“The terminals will be ready for commissioning at the end of the first quarter of 2016 and upon completion, Nigerians will appreciate the works that have been put into them.

“The capacity of the ter­minal would have been expanded to contain big aircraft such as the A380 Air Bus and there will be a lot of commercial activities that are obtainable in other international airports.”

Bello said she also briefed Buhari on the chal­lenges domestic airlines were facing despite the Fed­eral Government’s N300 billion intervention fund. She regretted that despite the intervention, many of the airlines are still heavily indebted to regulatory agen­cies.

Culled from the Sun News.

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